I was going to kick off this year and this post with a tofu joke, but I decided it was tasteless.
Ha. You see what I did there, right?
On its own, tofu is undoubtedly bland, I won’t deny that. However, those who say that tofu can’t be good just haven’t prepared it the right way. Tofu acts as a sponge and will absorb whatever flavor is added to it, but it has to be drained first. Like a sponge, if the tofu is already full of water, it can’t take in any other flavor. Make sense?
I use a tofu press like this one, but towels and something heavy on top also works. That’s what I did for ages before investing in this tofu press. You’re not a level 9000 vegan until you own your own tofu press.
That’s the secret. Press your tofu. Well, that’s one of the secrets. The other secret: a delicious marinade.
I want to take all of the credit for this one, but I can’t. This was completely Alex. I had an extra half block of tofu that I needed to use and asked him to throw some ingredients my way. Here’s what he concocted.
Maple Soy Glazed Tofu
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 5-6 cloves garlic minced
Drain and press your tofu. Do not skip this step.
Add all of the ingredients except for your tofu in a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Cut your drained tofu into strips about half an inch thick. For reference, I first cut my tofu into 4 equal parts and then each of those parts into 8 equal pieces (so 32 pieces total).
Add tofu strips to the marinade and mix together to coat the entirety of the tofu. Marinate covered in the fridge for two hours or up to overnight.
After marinating, preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add marinated tofu to baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip your individual pieces over and spoon over your remaining marinade. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Meal prep suggestion: Throw this marinated tofu together with some farro (or your other favorite grain) and roasted garlicky green beans. Healthy, delicious, and nutritious. Check.